Monday, June 30, 2008

The Sirius lore

Al Ahram Weekly (Assem Deif)

Thanks to Mohamed Amin for letting me know that the above article has been posted.

To the earliest Egyptians, Sirius/Sothis was the home of departed souls. Assem Deif shows how the triad Osiris-Isis-Nephthys affected other cultures:

The place is the Isis-Hathor Temple of Denderah, where the priests hasten along the columned aisle to witness an important event. The principal temple is dedicated to Hathor, whereas a small adjacent one is dedicated to Isis in which a statue of the goddess is located at the end of the aisle.

It is a little before 5am on 22 July, 700 BC, the summer solstice; the priests wait to watch Sirius rise and its rays penetrate the temple to fall on Isis's gem. As they arrive the sun is still below the horizon, and they gaze impatiently for the apparent heliacal rising of the Dog Star. For the priests already knew that the appearance of Sepdet lasts only for a brief moment before Ra brightens the sky.

When the star begins to flicker low on the horizon it marks the beginning of a New Year in Ancient Egypt. The festivities will soon begin. The Egyptians referred to the heliacal rising and its associated festival as prt spdt, "the going forth of Sepdet". The star hid for 70 days, and now it has returned from the duat (underworld) to bring welfare to the land and to allow its people to bury their dead.

See the above page for more.

No comments: